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In brief: New deadline for rules on rearview cameras

Fri., June 21, 2013, midnight

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is again delaying regulations on whether new cars and trucks must come equipped with rearview cameras to protect against drivers backing over people in blind spots behind their vehicles, a victory for automakers who say requiring the cameras is too costly.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday in letters to three members of Congress that more research is needed. He set a new deadline of January 2015 for the regulations.

An average of 228 people are killed and 17,000 injured each year because of back-over accidents. Many of the accidents occur in driveways and parking lots. Nearly half the deaths involve children under age 10. The elderly also frequently are victims.

Congress passed a law in 2008 requiring the government to issue final regulations aiming at protecting against back-over accidents by Feb. 28, 2011, and that the changes be in place for model year 2014 vehicles.

Movie industry included in trade talks, envoy says

BRUSSELS – The United States sees no reason to keep the movie and television industry out of upcoming trans-Atlantic free-trade negotiations with the European Union, despite France insisting that sector should be excluded, a high-level U.S. official said Thursday.

U.S. Ambassador to the EU, William E. Kennard also said that his country has not tried to keep any sector out of the negotiations with the 27-nation EU, countering French claims that Washington would exclude financial services.

The talks are expected to kick off next month after President Barack Obama and EU leaders announced on Monday that they would seek a free trade deal between the world’s two mightiest economic regions.

For weeks, France has piled on pressure on the other EU nations to keep the cultural sector off limits and last week the EU agreed on a negotiating mandate that included France’s demand – but with the proviso that it could possibly come back as an issue later in the negotiations.

Kroger reports growth, beats expectations

NEW YORK – Kroger says its customers are doing more of their shopping at its supermarkets, helped in part by the popularity of its store brands.

The country’s largest traditional supermarket operator on Thursday raised its profit outlook for the year after reporting a higher quarterly net income that beat Wall Street expectations, although overall sales were shy of forecasts.

The Cincinnati-based company, which also owns Ralphs, Fry’s and Food 4 Less, said sales at stores open at least a year rose 3.3 percent during the period, excluding fuel.

The growth comes as Kroger and other traditional supermarket companies are working to adapt to a shifting industry. Shoppers are increasingly getting their groceries at big-box retailers like Target, drugstores and even dollar stores that have expanded their food sections.


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